Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Chapter 31. How Was Last Night For You: Almost Peaceful Endings


Please Read Chapter 30 here..

Chapter 31: Almost Peaceful Endings

Nina was for the most part, contented. She happily sat beside John while his family enjoyed the dinner Nina and Rianne had cooked. They sat around John’s massive rectangular table in the open concept dining room where the atmosphere was peaceful and laid back.

There was laughter and gratefulness obvious in the eyes of everyone present. Topics flowed from John’s sudden return on the day of his funeral, to explaining the situation to all John’s numerous friends and relatives who had been planning to attend the funeral, which had been called off.

“Oh, well. Will tell them something,” Edith remarked.”It’s not unheard of to have someone who’s missing, come home alive. I have to say, John’s timing was pretty perfect.” Edith and everyone laughed, imagining how certain quirky relatives would take the news.

Jasper and Jordan filled John in on what had been happening with Mergers and Robert told Jordan about his latest challenges as a professor. Robert was noticeably more animated than Nina had seen him in months.

Edith couldn’t stop the tears from leaking out of her eyes.”We should take a cruise vacation,” she remarked. ” All of us and Rianne, Nina, and that girl you’re seeing Jordan. It would so much fun and be a wonderful way to celebrate John’s new life. Our lives free of curses.”

There was silence around the table as everyone smiled at Edith. Nina could tell no one was much into the idea but she doubted anyone had much choice.

“That sounds nice Edith,” Nina said politely, “I’ve never been on a cruise before. We’re you thinking about somewhere hot like the Caribbean?”

“Oh, that would be perfect. It’s so relaxing there and Sam and Eric would have so much fun. There’s so much for kids to do there.” Jasper still had a fake smile on his face and when Edith looked at him for approval he nodded, but nothing else.

“I think boys, your mother has the right idea. I’ll look into booking a Carribean Cruise  and be in touch soon. We should do that cruise before the Christmas Season.” Robert remarked, giving finality to the idea.

Nina gazed up and John feeling trapped, he patted her hand. “It will be fine,” he whispered to her.

“I know,” Nina said. “It’s only I was hoping to go somewhere hot with you. Just the two of us.”

John considered Nina’s words glancing at his excited Mom before whispering back in Nina’s ear: “I don’t think we have much of a choice concerning the family cruise.You’re in the family so you’re stuck like the rest of us. But I think we can very much take our own vacation too. A tour of Italy?” John suggested, tucking a piece of white blond hair behind Nina’s ear.

Nina noticed how Rianne and Jasper never met each other’s eyes as they small talked beside her and encouraged John’s nephews to  eat their food.

John on the other hand, kept his hand on Nina’s back almost the entire time they were eating, smiling at her warmly and kissing her cheek when she didn’t expect it.

She glanced at Jordan. He appeared the exact opposite of John’s healthy complexion. Jordan appeared wan and sickly. She noticed dark shadows underneath his eyes. Nina also realized Jordan hadn’t brought his girlfriend Carissa, he had been seeing her for as long as Jasper had been seeing Rianne.

“Where’s your girl Carissa?” John asked Jordan. Nina smiled minutely, her and John often thought a like.

“Oh, I broke it off about a month ago. There was too much going on at work and with you missing.” Jordan’s tone was curt, almost rude.

“You haven’t been able to get the ring off?” Nina asked Jordan who scowled at his left hand.

“Doesn’t matter what I or anyone else tries, we can’t get the ring off. I had a couple of jewelers try to cut the ring but it doesn’t work. I thought the ring was merely silver but I think it must have some kind of magic spell on it because it’s impossible to remove.”

Nina knew that night in the Sirene had been difficult for Jordan to come to terms with. She hadn’t said anything to him about Talise being alive and she knew John had kept that part secret from his family.

“I wonder if Talise’s soul is really underneath that emerald she placed in the ring?” John said aloud.

Jordan glared at John darkly.”It’s a regular emerald. Talise had no soul because mermaids don’t have souls, even if she was a sea witch.”

Nina tried to tread lightly. “In the original The Little Mermaid, mermaids don’t have souls but supernatural beings in Adare as we have seen with Talise, are significantly different than how fairy tales portray them.”

“I saw Talise take out her soul in a big shiny orb and place it on your finger in the ring. I’m absolutely sure her souls in there, Jordan. I know you don’t want to believe it, but it’s true.” Nina said cautiously.

Jordan frowned at Nina.” Whatever. It’s not as if  Talise’s soul has a body.The Sirene swallowed her supernatural corpse, that magic I do believe in.”

Nina gazed up at John who was staring at the beer he held in his hand. John’s sapphire eyes met Nina’s eyes.

She leaned up to whisper in John’s ear: “You have to tell him today about her, the sooner the better.” John nodded at Nina stroking her cheek with back of his hand. Nina caught John’s hand and held it to her cheek.


When dinner was over, Edith insisted on clearing the table since Rianne and Nina had cooked. Clean-up wouldn’t be difficult as most dishes could go in the dish washer or be left to soak until tomorrow when Nina and John could get to them.

Jordan was staring at Nina and she felt out of sorts because his dark gaze was angry and festering.”What is it?” Nina asked him.

“What were you and John whispering about?”

“Just stuff. Love stuff,” Nina lied smiling at Jordan convincingly.

“I have to see what your Mom’s up to in the kitchen.” She said rising from her chair at the supper table.” I don’t want her to spend her time here cleaning. She should be enjoying herself as should you,” Nina remarked regarding Jordan pointedly.

He gave Nina a tight smile and nodded. She gazed at John encouragingly as she left him alone at the table with Jordan. John’s dining room , kitchen, and livingroom were open concept, so Nina thought she might be able to hear bits of John’s conversation with Jordan.

“Jordan we need to talk. There’s more about Talise I haven’t told you.” John said soberly. Nina heard Jordan swear and John gave her a worried glance as he came into the kitchen briefly, to grab a couple of beers chilling in the freezer.

John opened up both beers and placed one in front of Jordan at the dining table. He sat in a chair next to Jordan and turned to face him. John’s sapphire eyes bored into his brother’s dark brown eyes and he started talking too quietly for Nina to hear. She knew John was delivering Norman’s message about Talise as gently as possible.


 

Twenty-minutes later, Nina was having wine with Rianne and Edith leaning against the kitchen island. They were all laughing about something Rianne had said when Jordan strode angrily through the kitchen nearly knocking Rianne and Nina over.

Jordan appeared bitter. He shoved Nina out of his way trying to escape out the front door.

“Hey, watch where you’re going Jordan. You almost knocked Nina over.” John said sharply.

Jordan glared daggers at John and Nina.

“I mean it Jordan. Leave Nina out of this, don’t even look at her that way ever again. She’s my girl, show her some respect.” John warned.

Jordan turned around and stared at John enraged: ” You bastard. Talise was your problem and she almost killed you. You couldn’t get rid of her and know she’s my issue suddenly, because some guy named Norman said so? It’s your fault and Nina’s fault, I have to deal with Talise. I want nothing to do with Talise and with either of you. I despise that I have no choice where Talise is concerned.” Jordan shouted, slamming the front door on his way out of the house.

The front door was slammed with such force, the wine glasses on the kitchen island skittered. Robert arose carefully, from the floor where he was playing with his grandsons.

“John, he doesn’t mean it. He’s been a hurt, angry, and bitter man since he thought Talise killed you. The thought of dealing with Talise himself, is understandably troubling for him since he believes he already stabbed her through the heart with the dagger.” Robert said reasonably.

Nina peered at John. “Your Dad knows?”

“Yes,” John said turning away from his Dad,”Mom and Jasper don’t know though. Did you tell Rianne?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have.” Nina said quietly.

“I knew you would,” John said with a smirk,” But Rianne’s not going to tell Jasper right?”

“They’re not getting along right now. She doesn’t tell Jasper what I tell her in privacy. Not at this point anyways.” Nina whispered back to John.

She stroked his stubble with her hand running her hand through his long, slightly curling dark hair.

“You need a haircut John,” Nina said smiling and raising her voice to include the rest of John’s family who had gathered in the living room.

“He does, doesn’t he?” Edith said and the conversation continued to flow, despite Jordan’s abrupt departure. It was almost 9:30 pm when everyone else went home.

Sam and Eric were grumpy and needed to be put to bed so Jasper and Rianne left. Nina noticed standing at the front door, Rianne went home in her own car. She was going to stay in her condo tonight but pack a suitcase and stay at John and Nina’s house starting the next day.

John’s parents made there goodbye’s as well, smiling contentedly at both John and Nina and hugging them, before driving home.


Later, Nina lay beside John in their bed. They had made love but were too tired to move after a crazy day. John promised to make it up to her the next day. Nina fell asleep for a couple of hours, but kept waking-up.

Beside her John stirred.”So, what now?” John asked Nina groggily, in the dark of their bedroom. She was snuggled in close to John in bed.

“I don’t know. I can’t stop thinking about everything that’s happened today. My mind doesn’t want to shut itself off.”

“Mine neither,” John said his voice gravelly from sleep.”I wonder if things are going to be difficult again or if we’ll actually be able to have a normal life? I know what Norman said but I’m helping Jordan. I know Talise best, after all.”

“Jordan’s a big boy John. Maybe, you have to let him deal with it as best as he can. I’m not saying don’t help, all I’m saying is let him decide. As a youngest brother, I’m sure he  often felt he didn’t get to make the choices he wanted.”

John grunted. “I’m not likely to let him deal with Talise alone. As if she’ll ever be safe to be with magic or no magic. She’s a terrible person/mermaid whatever she is now.”

“For cursing you and for putting us and your family through all she did, I absolutely agree. But if Norman says she’ll be Jordan’s girl, like I’m yours, I’m wondering if Talise has had to significantly change.”

“In the end of that night, she did do the right thing. She didn’t go through with her evil plan. She broke your curse and let Jordan kill her. I’m not her biggest fan but we might have to give her a chance because of Norman. If she’s out their in the Sirene that is . . .” Nina whispered.

John laughed and turned over to gaze at Nina and stroke the dip of her naked waist.” You always see the best in everything, in every situation. I’m so lucky to have you Nina. I’m in love with you. Let’s begin our real normal life now.”

Nina nodded leaning on her arm stroking John’s well defined bicep and then his face. “I’m  in love with you too. Let’s start our new life now.”

Though they were both worn out, Nina and John found hidden reserves of energy as skin slid against heated skin and lips met with passion and a hum of unending connection. Hen they were blissfully content, Nina smiled softly, tranquility overcoming every ounce of worry she felt.

Even in sleep,  Nina’s hand remained on John’s cooling skin, touching his chest and covering his heart.

Fin


 

XOXO Thanks for following!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Chapter 30. How Was Last Night For You: Explanations and More Trouble.


Please read Chapter 29 here:

Chapter 30: Explanations and More Trouble

Nina and Rianne stood in the kitchen preparing a mid-afternoon supper for John’s family.

“What are you cooking?” Rianne asked

” Marinated vegetables and baby potatoes. I’ve got a couple salads I’m working on, a Kale salad and a Chinese Noodle Salad.What kind of chicken did you decide to make?”

“Oh, uh spinach and goat cheese. The goat cheese hides the spinach. It’s tasty, and Sam and Eric don’t notice the spinach in it.”

Nina and Rianne heard Edith gasp in the living room and they turned to observe John from the kitchen island, explaining to Edith, Robert, and his brothers, where he had been the  last four-months.

Nina had decided John needed to be alone with his family when he told them what occurred. She wasn’t entirely sure what parts of his experiences, John wanted to share  and which parts he was keeping to himself. She would ask him tomorrow when they were alone.

Nina filled Rianne in on John’s experiences, speaking quietly, her voice not much above a whisper as they chopped fruit for dessert. She knew Rianne would hear about what John said from Jasper on the ride home.

Jasper had brought his two small sons with him and Rianne. Sam and Eric excitedly, hugged their Uncle John when they arrived, nearly catching Uncle John and Aunt Nina half-naked. Nina and John had been quick to adjust their clothes and appear decent. It had been difficult given the time they had been apart.


 

“We thought you was never coming back.” Sam told John. “Grandma said you went to heaven but Rianne said Grandma didn’t know. She said you were coming back soon. Right Rianne?”

“Yes, Sam. And I was right wasn’t I? Uncle John is home.” Sam nodded enthusiastically unwilling to let go of his Uncle. His little arms clung to John’s neck and played with the silver chain John wore.

“How come you were gone?” Eric asked. He was the younger brother.

“I was sleeping Eric. I was so so tired. When I woke up I was on a beach and I met a man who helped me come home. Then, this morning I saw your Auntie Nina and she was so pretty and happy to see me. I’ve never seen her so pleased.” John said trying to keep his story simple.

“Did you get the witch?” Sam asked John. John looked at Jasper wondering what he should say.

Jasper chimed in: “She wasn’t a witch, only a bad woman. But she’s gone right?” Jasper asked staring at John who nodded encouragingly.

“Let’s go play in the living room with your trucks. While you play, I can tell the grown-ups what happened in detail.” John said cheerfully, he glanced back at Nina tiredly. She knew from his expression he wanted to relax and be alone with her.

Nina, however,knew John’s family needed an explanation. They needed to know why it seemed he had come back to life after dying. They needed to see John was alive and touch him for themselves.

Jasper coaxed Sam to let go of his Uncle John and play with a new construction truck with Eric on the living room floor. Edith hugged John hard and kissed both his cheeks. Hear head barely reached the middle of John’s chest.

“Nina and Jordan kept saying you’d be back. I didn’t believe them. I thought they’d only a wing and a prayer. But you’re here and you look amazing. You’ve a healthy tan and you appear more rested than I have seen you in years. Does this mean your curse is broken and you can be together with Nina now? Will your curse ever effect our family again?” Edith asked, hope in her voice.

“Please Mom, everyone, sit down.” John’s family surrounded him as he sat on a couch. Nina heard John say, “Yes, the curse is broken. It’s why I’m back. As in fairy tales, well almost, Nina and I get to be together now and they’ll be more horrible events occurring in my life or yours.” Edith squealed and John’s Dad, Robert patted him on the back cheerfully.

“Good news son. Very good news. We need to hear the whole story. Everything from the night you left on Jordan’s motor boat to go find the dagger in Talise’s cave. We’ve heard what happened from Nina and Jordan. We need to hear your version now and why you let us think you were dead.”

John appeared shocked: “I didn’t have much choice in the matter, Dad . . .”

Nina returned to chopping fruit in the kitchen. Pulling out an ice cream cake to sit and thaw a bit for dessert. She tuned out John and his family, having heard and talked about that awful night with Talise in the Sirene too often in the last few months.

John’s return from the in-between place of life and death had been Nina’s and John’s conversation topic all day and Nina was sure John’s family wouldn’t be able to stop talking about what happened to John for many months to come.


Rianne put her chicken into cook in a second oven in John and Nina’s kitchen.

“John’s place is beautiful Nina. Right on the beach. I have to say it was no hardship visiting you here when you feared John wouldn’t come back. Even though I had to do the grocery shopping and the cooking to make sure you ate at first, it was worth it to walk down the beach and watch movies on a giant cinema-like room downstairs.”

Nina put her hand on Rianne’s arm and squeezed it gently,”I’m sorry I was such a pain. I know I was miserable to be around for months on end. Something inside me always told me to keep having faith and believing. I’m still shocked to be able to say this, but I was right; John came home.”

“It sounded like he had to learn a few vital lessons first,” Rianne remarked. “From what you told me, it was John who didn’t have faith the curse would be broken. He couldn’t come home to you  unless he believed their was benevolent magic working to break the curse so you too could be a couple and live a normal life.”

“Yeah, it’s exactly what John told me Norman said to him. I can’t believe Norman was the homeless guy who saved you.”

“Me neither,” said Rianne. “But I think we had God looking out for us. Or He had someone keeping watch over us all in Norman. It’s nice to know someone up there cares what goes on in our lives.”

“So, what’s new with you and Jasper?” Nina remarked changing the subject. Rianne sighed gazing at Nina with sad chocolate brown eyes. They reminded Nina of the eyes of a lab dog begging.

“It’s, it’s okay – only, when John was missing, it was hard on us. Especially with Sam and Eric. You know how all three Eric brothers are close and have always been. When Jasper thought John was dead, it was as if a piece of himself died with John.”

“I don’t know how to explain it well, but Jasper’s been cold. Really cold. He didn’t want me to come over often. Partly, why I ended up staying with you so much was because Jasper didn’t want me there. And I would go home and there would be this yawning emptiness in my condo. I couldn’t bear it.” Rianne said softly. She wasn’t a crier but Nina knew her friend was near the point of tears..

“I loved it when you came over Ri. I wish you would’ve said something about was happening between you and Jasper. I love you and care about you and I want you to tell me what’s wrong even when I’m not in the best of places myself.” Nina said quietly.

“I know you didn’t want to burden me, but it would’ve helped me keep my mind off John, listening to you and finding a way to help Jasper open-up to you. And I think you would’ve felt much better too, not keeping this trapped inside.”

“Shhhh” Rianne said suddenly. Jasper was staring at Rianne while her and Nina talked and the chicken baked.

“He can’t hear us,” Nina said.

“I think he knows what I’m talking to you about.”

” How could he know. Besides, John’s back now. Things will become better between Jasper and you too because he won’t be mourning his brother’s death.” Nina remarked confidently.

“Maybe,” Rianne said unconvinced.” Death is a tricky subject with Jasper. His first wife, Sam and Eric’s mom, died of cancer a few years ago. I don’t know if he’s ready for a serious relationship with another woman yet. I thought so but now, I’m not so sure.”

“But it’s been five-years or so hasn’t it?”

“I don’t know he won’t talk about his wife, not at all. I know his boys come first and before that night with Talise, we were practically living together. We were seeing how the boys liked it if I lived with them.” Rianne said, tears starting to fall without her being aware of them.

“Now, I wouldn’t even consider sleeping over at Jasper’s house. It feels as if there’s this big angry river between Jasper and I and I don’t know how to jump over it or swim through it. I miss playing with Sam and Eric so much.”

“It will work out Rianne. It will get better, I know it will.” Nina said encouragingly. Rianne sighed, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand and checking the chicken in the oven cooking.

Nina sighed. John and her might have at last found happiness together. But it seemed those closest to them, weren’t happy at all. Nina felt awful Rianne hadn’t thought she could share her problems with Jasper with her, the past few months. She had been too consumed with thoughts of  John and too selfish to be a reliable friend to Rianne.

Nina hugged Rianne after she had taken the chicken out of the oven to let it cool a few moments.

“I’ll help you get through this Rianne. You’re my best friend and I’d do anything for you. You’ve helped me so much since I’ve met John and suffered too much for it. You can stay with John and I as long as you want.” Rianne smiled.

“Won’t John mind?”

Nina laughed, “he doesn’t have a choice, but he doesn’t know that yet.”

Rianne smiled but Nina could tell her smile was forced. She studied Rianne for a moment as she transferred the chicken into a serving dish. Rianne wasn’t saying a great deal of what was going on between her and Jasper, and Nina knew it.

Please Read Chapter 31 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Chapter 29. How Was Last Night For You: John Returns


Please read Chapter 28 here.

Chapter 29: John Returns

“Mom, hello? Is that you?” John said, pressing Nina’s IPhone against his ear.

“Jordan is that you? Why are you using Nina’s phone I was just talking to you. . .” Edith replied.

“No, Mom. It’s me John. I’m alive, here with Nina. You need to stop the funeral.”

“Jordan this isn’t funny. We discussed this. Your brother is dead. He’s passed on and we need to move on too, even if we don’t have a body to bury. You and Nina can hope forever, but eventually you are going to have to come terms with it. I know my son. If he was alive, he would’ve found his way home.”

“This isn’t Jordan Mom. It’s John. I am home. I came home early this morning. I ran into Nina walking on the beach in front of our house.” John told his Mom beseechingly.

“John?” Edith’s voice was muffled and he could the tears in her voice.”This better be you. Where have you been young man it’s been over four-months?”

“There’s a lot to explain Mom . . .” Edith cut John off.

“Take a selfie, show me a me picture of how you look with Nina right now.” John and Nina obliged Edith, taking a few photos on Nina’s phone and sending them to Jon’s Mom.

Edith called back minutes after receiving the pictures, “I’m coming over to your house now and I’m bringing everyone.”


 

Nina gazed at John putting her hair back into a tighter ponytail. “What did Edith say?”

“She thought I was Jordan. She was crying, but the selfies convinced her I’m alive. Mom’s coming over now and bringing my Dad and brothers.”

Nina swore. “The house is kind of a mess John. I haven’t felt much like cleaning the last couple of weeks . . .”

“It’ll be okay Nina. She won’t care about the mess until later. Mom needs to see me for herself first.” Nina wrapped her arm around John’s waist and he put his arm around her shoulders, they began walking back to John’s beachfront house, kicking sand up as they walked.

“How will you explain it all to Edith and Robert, your Dad? To the rest of your family?” Nina asked John.

“Well, I’ll explain as best as I can. I’m not sure where I was for most of four-months. . . I’d rather talk with you first but I’m sure the family is half-way here by now. As if a curse isn’t weird enough, coming back to life after being between life and death for months, will be shocking.” John reasoned.

“I think,” Nina countered, “You’re family will be overjoyed to see you safe and healthy. Not to mention, such as in every happily ever after, the curse is broken. I think your family will be happy you and I, and they can live normal lives without worrying about awful events occurring around you and affecting them. Your family loves you and will be enthused you did not die that night as they all thought.”

Nina kissed John’s cheek with a smacking kiss and he laughed, messing her hair up lightly. “Tell them the truth as best as you can. Tell us all. I would love to hear your story from after the point I thought you died, and you disappeared into the water and sky, when Talise broke the curse.”

John kissed Nina softly. “I’ll try to tell you first. The drive up here will take everyone a bit to get here.” The house loomed before them and they walked up the porch steps together through the back door.


John and Nina both showered together. They wanted to spend their time loving each other in the shower, but knowing Edith could barge in the house soon, stopped them from going too far with each other.

Nina wouldn’t put it past Edith to walk right into the bathroom to see John, even if he and Nina were both naked.

Nina and John both wore jeans and soft t-shirts. Nina blew dry her hair and curled it with a flat iron before applying her makeup minimally and the fastest she had ever had to apply it before. She didn’t like meeting John’s family without her ‘face’ on. The makeup was a bit of shield for her, against what she might hear from John and his family.

Nina applied foundation and mascara. Next came a gold sheen of an eye shadow color on her eyelid and a darker brown crease shade. A fluff of blush on each cheek and some gold hoop earrings were followed by Nina applying a pink lip gloss. She met John in the kitchen so relieved and overjoyed he was home. She could almost cry, but she didn’t. She needed to hear John’s story about Norman and life in-between life and death.

“You must be starving,” Nina told John.

“I had a huge steak dinner last night with Norman. I’m okay right now, it’s not even lunch. The fridge is packed with food I see though.” John commented.

“I’m happy you’ve been eating. It bothers me when you don’t eat because you’re worried, sick, or keeping secrets.” John remarked smiling knowingly at Nina.

Nina smirked.” I think you’re the one with secrets right now John; not me.” John laughed amused.

“I tried to eat when I remembered and at first, I forgot a lot. Rianne has been terrific and she grocery shopped for me when I was grieving. She’s literally, the only way I was able to handle losing you. She believed me when I said you were alive out there, even when your family stopped believing me.” A stray tear leaked down Nina’s cheek.

John stopped her tear with his thumb, ” I’m here now. I couldn’t come back any sooner, but I would’ve  if I knew how. I was stuck and sleeping in a vibrant place. You know what it was like you said, because you were there in that place in-between life and death that night when Talise’s bite poisoned you.”

“Yeah,” Nina nodded remembering. “It was tranquil and I had no troubling thoughts or worries. There was so many beautiful colours. Bold and magnificent colours there isn’t enough words in the human language to describe.”

“Exactly,” John said. “I’m glad I didn’t know how gone you were that night. When I was ended up in the place of colours, I couldn’t imagine so many colours existed. There were colours there and they don’t exist here on earth.”

“I was so fatigued and in that place I could rest and be done with the whole curse, with everything. I wanted to give in and I let myself for a long time, but then I pictured you and I was awake and I was wandering an endless beach.” John said.

He leaned against the kitchen island and Nina stood close to him. She smelled his woodsy and citrus cologne and breathed it in. It was the scent on the shirt she’d been sleeping with for over four-months.

“I’m ecstatic your back John and grateful. If remembering me brought you out of that in-between place, I’m glad.” Nine hesitated,” Do you think it was God who brought you to the beach, not only your thoughts?”

“I don’t know. Norman wasn’t God but I have the feeling he might have worked for God. He saved Rianne Norman told me and he was there to help me. He said he can take many forms. He came into my cottage, my home on the beach. After supper and beers, he answered all my questions and taught me a few things too.”

“Just like that?” Nina questioned.”What did Norman say exactly? You seem lighter now and carefree. I know it’s probably because the curse is gone, but I think something else has changed too. Just a feeling I have knowing you as I do.” Nina surmised, smiling contently.

John didn’t answer right away. He kissed Nina on the lips a few times, lingering over her mouth and Nina could tell he was holding back, trying to be gentle. She began to feel warm and she ached for John inside as heat and attraction simmered between them. Nina had missed John incredibly and wanted to demonstrate to him how much she had missed him in their bed.

John smiled at Nina chuckling: “I want to too Nina, but right now isn’t a good time with my family arriving soon.” He pulled back from kissing her. John must have seen the wounded look in Nina’s eyes, because he brushed her cheeks with his thumbs. Nina put her head against John’s chest, hearing his heart beat was comforting and his hug calmed Nina.

“Tell me more,” Nina said after a while, stepping back from John’s arms and peering up at him. John gently moved back from Nina some more and leaned against the kitchen island once again. Nina stood in front of him, hands in her jean pockets, full of curiosity.

“Well, I told you about Talise. She’s not dead. I’m not sure how. Norman said Talise saw something in Jordan that night. She broke the curse and she let Jordan kill her. This makes Talise redeemable,” John muttered, his anger at Talise present.

“Talise told me that the curse was a deeper magic than the magic she possessed. It was why she couldn’t save you John.”

“Indeed, I’m quite sure the curse magic and other magic is deeper than Talise’s magic. Norman said he was a kind of magic . . . Anyways, about Talise and Jordan, Norman said what Talise saw in Jordan was like what I saw in you when I first met you at The Manhattan.”

“Really?” Nina said shocked. John shrugged.

“I don’t understand it but Norman said Talise was Jordan’s responsibility the same way you are mine. I have tell Jordan what Norman told me. I’m scared to say anything to him. Norman explained about the ring Talise put her soul in for Jordan and the dagger that altered after Jordan killed Talise.”

” Jordan will be okay,” Nina said.”He hasn’t been in a good place since he thought you died but I think having his older brother back will make him much happier.”

“He despises Talise as I said,  I don’t know how he’ll ever see her as more than an evil sea witch. Honestly, I don’t know if can see her as anything but an evil person, despite what she did in the end that night.” Nina admitted. John nodded in agreement.

“What else did Norman say?” Nina asked. John sighed, wishing he could keep some of what Norman told him to himself. But John knew he had to be truthful with Nina, in this most significantly

“Norman said, I had no faith. He referenced a Bible verse John 1:5 which talks about light always shining in the darkness and chasing it away. It’s a verse I remembered from Sunday School.”

“No faith in God?” Nina said. ” I know you have faith in God John. You told me He was the only one looking out for you when everything in life goes badly for you. You go to church too. I went with you a few times if you recall.” Nina said.

“It wasn’t only faith in God, Norman was telling me about. He told me I was missing the bigger picture of life, so caught up in details and my own problems. Makes sense I guess, I’m an editor by craft.” John mused.

“But Norman also said I didn’t have faith my curse would ever be broken. He told me about you telling Rianne about people wanting magic solutions but not believing in them.”

Nina smiled. “It’s one of my favourite quotes from Alice in Wonderland. And yes, I believe in magic both good and bad.”

“Norman said I didn’t believe the curse could have good magic. I didn’t have faith God would work things out for me. I didn’t have faith I would live when the curse was broken. I didn’t have faith in you, that we could ever spend our lives together. I didn’t believe in my dreams.”

John appeared tired to Nina again, but she thought it was more the weight of finally having unburdened himself of the truths Norman had revealed to him, that had exhausted him. She hoped the lightness John felt earlier would return.

“Was Norman right John?” Nina asked.

“At the time, he was exactly right. I didn’t have faith in much of anything. It’s why I spent a good seven or eight-years doing nothing but working and going through women. Even when I met you and I hoped for more, I thought keeping you was a long shot.”

“When I knew I loved you and believed you were met for me, Talise was back causing trouble and targeting you. I always thought it wouldn’t work out in the end because Talise wouldn’t let me go until I was dead.” John admitted.

Nina patted John’s arm soothingly before grabbing his hand with her smaller one. ” Before you went away that night, you didn’t have much faith. You were afraid for me and you broke up with me. You loved me I know, but you didn’t believe that their could be a good side to magic, that a curse broken might end well.”

Even the magic Talise was wielding wasn’t always wicked. Your Dad said that night we all had dinner, most sea witches use both light and dark magic. They need a balance. When Talise became evil, the effects of malevolent magic on her were obvious.”

“I think that goes with your belief in magic too. You can’t believe it’s all bad, that a curse would end tragically. You needed to believe in life and have faith things would work out in the end for the good. I believed you would return time. I’m not saying I never doubted you would come home, but today you did. My prayers and faith rewarded.” Nina squeezed John’s hand tighter.

“I know. I understand now my Nina. It’s why Norman told me the Bible verse from John. No matter how dark it seems, light is always there to drive the darkness back, to drive evil back. It even drove the darkness out of Talise.” John said.

Nina smiled.”I told Talise as I lay dying from her poison bite, she had a choice. She didn’t have to be evil. She changed in that moment. So even though she cast the curse originally, and had little power over its eventual outcome, light and benevolent magic won out.”

John gazed at Nina admiring her soft skin and the way her thin T-shirt hung on her breasts. He noted how her waist dipped in and her hips flared, creating the beautiful curves of her body. ”

“You’re amazing, stubborn, smart, and beautiful Nina. I can’t believe not having faith, almost made me lose everything, lose you.” John reached for Nina, grasping her around her waist and holding her as close as he could while tracing her face with his lips.

Nina could feel the inescapable and enthralling heat and electricity moving between her and John. She ran her hand under John’s shirt and gasped at the feel of his smooth naked skin. John’s lips kissed Nina’s neck teasingly before he bit her gently. His kisses moved up Nina’s jaw about to meet her lips and his hands were under her T-shirt, ready to tear it off her when the door bell rang.

Not waiting a moment, John’s family burst in through the door.

Please Read Chapter 30 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

28. How Was Last Night For You: Greater Truths


Please read Chapter 27 here.

Chapter 28: Greater Truths

John stared up at Norman speechless.”You’re glad I asked? Because  you’re making this whole process difficult for me. I want to go home and I don’t need any universal truths right now. Since I’m not dead, let me live.”

Norman’s smile got even bigger. His face crinkling and creasing from lines the sun had etched.

“It’s usually about something bigger then our lives, or even the lives of people we care about. Often, I find it’s about faith.” John was perplexed but interested in what Norman meant.

“What kind of faith? You mean spiritual? I have that. I grew up Anglican. God got me through a lot of awful situations. I mean, with being cursed for ten-years, I had to believe there was a better place out there and a reason I was enduring what I was.”

Norman’s brown eyes twinkled.”Yes, God was with you before you were cursed and during. But you’re missing something, the bigger picture.”

“What should I see?” John exclaimed frustrated. He was at the point with Norman where he wanted to punch Norman for being so mysterious.However, Norman was John’s ticket home, so he dealt with his frustration.

John rolled the muscles in his shoulders, cracking his neck trying to workout the strain spreading through his body. It was the first time he’d felt the aches of being human outside the cottage, on the beach, in-between life and death.

Norman steepled his hands on the patio table and the setting sun made his eyes seem alight with fire. “‘The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it.’ It’s John 1:5 from the New Testament. Do you remember what came before it?”

John thought back to memorizing Bible verses as a youth in church. “I believe: ‘In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.'” John shrugged looking at Norman, wondering what he meant asking John to recall these exact verses.

“You know this, I know.” Norman said seriously, ” But there’s a specific reason I’m asking you this John. Not to waste your time as you think. Many people would think this was a grand vacation place and be quite happy to remain for some time. But I’m trying to get you to understand something significant.” Norman revealed shaking his head at John’s obtuseness.

“Your girlfriend Nina believes you will come back to her because she believes in magic. She quoted Louise Carroll to Rianne recently, saying: people want magical solutions in life but then, they don’t believe in magic.”

“Trust me Norman. I believe in magic. Talise cursed me and I lived through it. I sacrificed myself and now I’m here and you yourself are a kind of magic as you’ve told me. I’m a believer. Otherwise, how else would you know something Nina and Rianne discussed not long ago? How would you know thoughts I think in my head?” John said glancing at Norman for confirmation before continuing.

“I do wish you’d stay out of my head though. Give me the privacy of my own thoughts, Norman.”

“I can’t help that John. You might as well force yourself to stop thinking and feeling, which would be the easier solution.” Norman said.

“I don’t like this, you’re grating on my nerves Norman. What is it you’re trying to tell me about magic and faith? I don’t have time to sit here having philosophical discussions.” John said grumpily.

He was feeling tired and outside an orange and pink sunset was disintegrating into ink black. John could hear the tide, reaching in farther on the shore as a shadow of a crescent moon was revealed.

“You have time John. All the time in the world. I’m here to help you learn,” Norman said in a fatherly manner.”Nina has faith in you and believes good magic will bring you back. She also believes God wouldn’t take you from her at this time, after all you two went through.”

“I can’t speak for God, but I do know if Nina has faith in you, you should have more faith in yourself and your situation. Magic is a gift from a higher power –from God. You have to have faith there is benevolent magic along with the malevolent magic you experienced with Talise. As with many things in life there is both light and darkness.” Norman explained.

“So I should have faith in God, magic, and in things working out?”

“Yes, you should. But you don’t have faith, it’s why you’re here. You didn’t believe the curse would actually give you a happy ending and you didn’t believe your prayers would be answered. You didn’t believe a girl such as Nina, could truly be yours.” Norman’s voice was soft but accusatory.

“Do you know why I asked you about John 1:5, John?”

“I think you are telling me the bad, the darkness doesn’t win. In the end light overtakes it.” John said hesitantly.

“And?”

“I have to believe it. I didn’t remain in the Sirene Lake alive with Nina because I didn’t believe in magic as a gift from a God, a good God. I didn’t even believe a God I’ve had faith in all these years I was cursed, could save my life in the end. All I saw was Talise misusing her gift, not the light.” John said understanding Norman at last.

“Nicely done John. I didn’t think you’d ever see that bigger picture I was talking about. Light always overcomes the darkness, remember that. It’s the reason I’m here, why I’m helping you. Nina is also a light in your life, you are meant to take care of her and to take care of each other.”

“That’s it?” John asked, “You’ve been building up to this for hours?” John was confused again.

“You have faith and your prayers have been answered. You get to live your life to the fullest with Nina and your family. Remember they’re blessings, gifts. Take care of that girl John.” John looked at Norman who smiled at him, his face creasing as always.

“Faith, belief? It’s that big?” John asked.

“Faith can move mountains, you know that.”

“When can I go? Can I go home now?” John asked Norman. He was agitated. The darkness of the night reminded him he needed to sleep. The ocean waves hitting the shore lulled him until John’s eyes were weighted down with exhaustion.

“I should clean-up,” John mumbled sleepily.

“It’s done.” Norman said. John opened his eyes a bit to see Norman standing before him and motioning John into the cottage through the patio door.

“I don’t often get to sleep in a warm, comfortable bed John. Tonight I’ll sleep in a guest room. I think you need to sleep too, your energy is drained from the curse yet. You need to rest up for home.”

“Home? Sleep?”

“Yes, time for bed.” Norman said pointing John towards his bedroom and heading towards a guest room.

John opened his heavy eyes for a moment to look at Norman who waved. John mumbled some indistinctive words. He felt as if he were drugged, but it was only a wave of fatigue.

With difficulty, John undressed and climbed into a warm bed. A fan blew overhead, spreading cool air across John’s torso. He slept for what felt like an eternity, immersed in fantastic and splendorous colours.

Night turned to morning while John slept.


 

Today was Saturday. Nina dreaded this day more than any day she had experienced in a long time. It was worse then the day her father her Mother and Nina when she was a preteen. She knew she wouldn’t hear from her father ever again that day. But inside her being, she believed she’d still see John.

Nina stared at her haggard, washed out appearance in the bathroom mirror. She had barely slept, thinking about having to attend John’s funeral. Couldn’t she skip it? She didn’t believe John was dead after all. But she knew how much her attendance meant  to the Eric’s.

Looking at her iPhone, Nina realized it was only 8:30 am. The funeral didn’t start until 11:00 am. Nina was relieved she could go out for a walk down the beach before she got ready  for the funeral. John had been kind when he willed her his house, Nina loved the beach that ringed the Sirene Lake.

Washing her face and applying a bit of concealer to her under eye circles, Nina put on her yoga pants, a purple yoga top, and a warm fleecy hoody. The Fall weather made the beach down by the lake colder then it had been in spring, when Nina had been forced into the Sirene by Talise. But it was still a beautiful place to walk down whatever the time of year.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the pantry, Nina made her way to beach. The morning sky was blue and pleasant. Even by the Sirene’s shores, there was merely a gentle breeze. The sun beat down on Nina as she walked through the sand, it would be a decent day for John’s funeral at least.

The sky felt too bright for Nina’s mood and she put her hand up to guard her eyes from the invading sunlight. The sunlight was glaring and Nina thought, purposefully trying to lift her dour mood.

Nina walked quickly thinking about how she would deal with the funeral. A dark thought crossed her mind, what if John actually was dead? But she immediately brushed the thought aside.

Nina couldn’t not believe, John would come home. She didn’t know when he’d arrive, but he wouldn’t leave her like this to suffer. The curse had been broken so justly, Nina should get to spend her life with John. But was life just?

John hadn’t always been a stellar guy. He had been a horrible womanizer and used many women purely for sex. He had been a playboy, which had caused his curse initially. But Nina thought, John had tried to become a better person. With Nina he was himself and he wasn’t running from the reality of his life. Together, Nina and John made a great team.

Tears of regret and from missing John, flowed down Nina’s cheek. She knelt down in the sand and jumped when she felt a cool hand on her shoulder, brushing her neck because she had put her blond hair in a ponytail for her walk.

Nina gasped and stared back at a man behind her. Her eyes lit with unashamed love. She couldn’t believe John was behind her.

Nina screamed and jumped into John’s arms. Kissing every inch of his face. Tears ran down her cheeks and she thought she saw tears on John’s face too. She shrieked in shear joy.

Finally, John stilled Nina and held her in his arms kissing her forehead. ” Is it you? Is it you John?” Nina exclaimed.

“It’s me Nina. I couldn’t stay away.” Nina backed up from John, her eyes examining every inch of him from his tanned skin to his sapphire eyes aglow with mirth. His dark hair having grown and not been cut in months, was a wavy mess.

“Where have you been?” Nina asked John, suddenly angry at him. “You made me wait so long. Four-months is forever when you think someone’s dead. How could you do that to your Mom and I?” John appeared regretful.

“I wanted to come home. I did. I don’t know how to tell you this but I was stuck. I was asleep in radiant colours of every shade and texture for a long time. Then, I was on this picturesque beach with a homeless guy named Norman. He told me I had no faith and that was why I was stuck at the beach inbetween life and death.”

Nina gasped again. “Are you okay? I don’t know if you hit your head or if what you’re saying is the truth. Given our experiences in the past I think I believe you. I remember being stuck in colours like you describe myself. You saved me from them and then you disappeared.” Nina looked heartbroken as the memory came to her.

“I know,” John said sorrowfully. “I couldn’t help being gone for four-months since Talise broke the curse with us. I had no control. I wasn’t awake for most of it, I don’t think.” John grasped Nina’s arms and held her close.

“I missed you so much. I didn’t even know my own name, but I knew you.” John whispered to Nina, his forehead against hers.

The kiss began gently, exploratory. As if they were learning each other’s lips once again. Nina sighed and John deepened the kiss, his arms pulling her against him with force. Nina let herself melt into John, kissing him back, tongues sliding against each other and sparks igniting between them. Nina pulled back, tears unknown falling from her eyes.

John kissed the tears away and made his way back to Nina’s lips, exploring her mouth again. “I missed this so much,” John said heatedly.

Nina kissed John for what felt like forever until she couldn’t any longer because reality was intruding in her thoughts. She carefully pulled away from John’s arms and mouth, feeling woozy from lust and love. She stood a moment, catching her breath, lips swollen.

“Today’s Saturday John, today’s supposed to be your funeral.” Nina said frowning. “I told them you’d come back but time passed and your family needed to move on. We have to call them now.”

“Yeah you’re right. Norman told me today was my funeral. I think I should stop it, before it gets too far,” John remarked, ” I can’t wait to see everyone.”

Nina gazed up at John. “For a dead man you look amazing. You seem so full of vitality, joyeux de vivre. Why are you’re wearing beach clothes again? It’s Autumn here you know. How exactly did you manage to find me here?”

“I came from a beautiful cottage on a beach. The beach stretched for miles and I was all alone until Norman came. I went to sleep last night and when I woke up I was walking the surf of the Sirene in Adare and I knew I was close to home when I saw you walking. It’s the only explanation I can give you truthfully.” John told Nina.

Nina smiled softly, “I was a wreck without you. At least you willed me the house and I got to stay near your things. I want to hear all about this beach you were on with Norman. I have the feeling you’re telling me half the story.”

“Would I do that?” John teased.

“Ha, I think you say as little as you can at times.”

“Only trying to stay on your good side,” John said laughing.

“I’m glad I willed you the house. It’s our home and I’ll tell you all about Norman later. He saved Rianne from Malcolm you know?”

“Yeah, Jasper got footage from the Chinese food place. It showed Malcolm knocking her out against a wall. Jasper and Rianne weren’t able to find any sign of the homeless man in Adare.” Nina remarked.

“He was with me I guess. It’s not the only form he takes he told me. I’m not sure what he means by that, but he isn’t always a homeless man.”

“I think I should call my family now,” John said stroking Nina’s cheeks. “I wish we could be alone for a while first, but I doubt that will happen.” Nina smiled holding John’s hands against her cheeks.

“You’re not cursed anymore,” she exclaimed laughing joyfully, hugging and kissing John on the lips hard.

John grinned, “So this is happily ever after I guess?”

Nina smiled. “No, it’s the beginning of real life. Of our life. No magic . . .”

John’s smile slid off his face for a second, “I’m not so sure Nina. I think there will always be magic in our lives. If not magic, Talise.” Nina looked horrified.

“Norman told me. He said Talise was Jordan’s problem now.”

“But why? How did she survive? Jordan stabbed Talise through the heart with her dagger. The dagger changed appearance and the Sirene engulfed her body. Jordan has this ring .. .”

“I know all about it Nina. Norman filled me in. He also told me it’s Jordan’s path to take. Talise sees something in him, like you saw in me when we met.” John explained.

” Jordan hates her. He’ll never forgive Talise.” Nina remarked.

“She’s redeemable, Norman said. She’s not a sea witch anymore. Talise is only a mermaid and Jordan has her soul beneath the emerald in his ring.”

“Wow,” Nina said shocked.”I didn’t see that coming. Plot twist.”

John nodded in agreement with Nina’s exclamation,  kissing her hairline.”If you have your cell, I need to call Mom and Dad. What times the funeral?”

“It’s an hour-and-a-half away John,” Nina said checking the time on her phone and handing it to him worriedly. John clasped her hand in his before taking the phone and dialling his Mom’s cell.

He stood on the beach, listening to Nina’s phone dialing for what seemed like ages.

Please Read Chapter 29 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

26. How Was Last Night For You: Magic is Real Only If You Believe It.


Please read Chapter 25 here.

Chapter 26: Magic is Real Only If You Believe It.

Nina was living in John’s house. She had been staying there since John’s disappearance, four-months ago. Nina refused to believe John was dead. Everyone else was sure he had passed on when he saved Nina’s life after Talise poisoned her.

Nina had begged John’s parents and brothers to hold off on the funeral. They had agreed for four-months, but after John or his corpse hadn’t turned up, Edith decided to visit Nina at John’s home and talk with her regarding the situation.

Nina welcomed Edith and asked her to sit down in John’s living room on a comfortable couch. She sat opposite of Edith on the same couch, feeling Edith was about to tell Nina something she’d rather not hear.

Edith clasped Nina’s cold hands between her warm ones. She appeared sad but sturdy as she had always seemed to Nina.She could see Edith had been crying. Her eyes were bloodshot from a recent bout of tears.

“Nina,” Edith said calmly, ” We can’t keep living our lives like this, searching the Sirene, and hoping John will come back to us. Jordan and you told us Talise admitted curses have a magic to them beyond the powers of the sea witch who cast them. I don’t believe Talise after casting the curse on John, would’ve been able to save him by lifting the curse that awful night. She didn’t have enough understanding of magic to do that, she said so herself.”

“I don’t blame you Nina,” Edith said gently, “You couldn’t have changed John’s mind to save you. He loved you far too much to change his mind and he did the right thing as far as I’m concerned.” Edith sniffled and wiped a tear away. She gripped Nina’s hands tighter in solidarity and to give herself strength.

“John’s death was part of the curse. If he fell in love and with love sacrificed himself for you, the woman he loved, the curse would break. John doesn’t have to live wondering what terrible event will happen around him next. It hurt John immeasurably, living with a curse which was a danger to his family and to you Nina.” Edith’s voice trembled but she put her hand up and brushed Nina’s wayward blond hair off her cheek in a motherly manner.

Nina wasn’t prepared to accept John’s fate yet.”Curses which are broken have happy endings, Edith,” Nina exclaimed for the hundredth time. “John sacrificing himself out of love was supposed to mean he got to live a normal life with me. It shouldn’t and doesn’t mean he died. I’m certain somewhere out there, John’s alive Edith. He wants to come home to us. I can feel it in here,” Nina said her fist against her heart. Edith sighed sorrowfully.

“Maybe, John’s out there somewhere. But we’ve no way to find him. We don’t know where he could be. We’ve searched his regular hangouts, John’s vacation spots, and his brothers know where he went when he needed to be alone.There’s nowhere left to search for him, we don’t even know where to begin looking.”

“I believe he’s gone Nina.” Edith affirmed.” It isn’t logical that he survived sacrificing himself, as Jordan and you explained to us after that night. John’s in heaven; he is home.” Edith said with finality.

“It isn’t easy for any of us, for me to have to say this, but we’re going to have a funeral on Saturday. We need to have peace and let John have peace. John is with God now Nina.” Edith murmured reassuringly.

Edith only frustrated Nina. “For your family’s sake,  of course I’ll attend Edith. I’ll sit through John’s funeral. But I’m not saying goodbye. The curse is a special magic and I’m confident it will bring John home to us again. I will wait for him for as long as it takes.” Nina vowed. Edith shook her head at Nina’s stubborn belief.

“I want to be wrong Nina. I really do,” tears slipped out of Edith’s sapphire eyes. They were John’s eyes.”You can wait as long as you like but one day you’re going to have to let go and move on with your life.”

“You need to find yourself a good man one day, John wouldn’t have wanted you to remain alone. He willed you his house, paid for in full. It’s your home now, dear girl.” Edith said smiling. Nina wondered when John had time to rewrite his will to include Nina in it.

“You don’t want his house?” Nina questioned Edith, ” Or the money from it?” Edith shook her head. “Too many memories here Nina, too many good and bad memories. We have enough money in retirement savings and from our boys. John knew you loved it here on the beach of the Sirene Lake. If anyone were to find John, it would be you Nina. You never gave up on him ever. Not even now.” Edith said crying.

Nina hugged Edith hard. They remained embraced for a few minutes before they both arose and Nina walked Edith to the front door. Nina would see Edith at the funeral on Saturday.

Edith turned before walking  out onto the front porch,” You’re always welcome at our house Nina. Please don’t be a stranger. You’re the closest thing to a daughter I have, both you and Rianne.” Nina felt a tear trail down her cheek.

“Okay Edith. I will visit whenever I’m can,” Nina affirmed and Edith smiled gratefully and walked to her car parked in the front driveway.


 

Not long after Edith left, Rianne stopped by John’s (now Nina’s) house, with groceries. Nina hadn’t been eating much again and Rianne knew Nina’s habits when depressed and consumed by thoughts of John.

“I bought enough food to stock your fridge for the week. After that, I’m assuming you’re going back to work at Wilus. We’ll be having our normal lunch dates when you go back to work too?” Rianne hinted to Nina.

Nina smiled, a shadow of her former smile. “Of course Rianne. We’ll go to The Chilly Burrito first day I’m back from my leave of absence.” Nina promised.

Changing the topic Nina said: “You know, in four months, you’ve never told me what happened to you that night Talise kidnapped me. All I heard was someone knocked you out and stole your ugly lime purse.” Rianne wrinkled her nose at Nina.

“I loved my lime Kate Spade purse. Jasper bought me a brand new Kate Spade purse though.” Rianne smiled lifting her arm to show Nina her candy apple red tote.

“I like it but it’s not my lime one. Your iPhone was in my purse when it was stolen as you recall. I assume you replaced it with a new Iphone since we’ve been talking on the phone a lot?” Rianne told Nina.

“Yeah, next model up. My contract was almost over so I didn’t end up paying out too much for a new phone .  . . So, what happened when you got knocked out? Who saved you from getting hurt or left for dead by the Chinese food place?” Nina said, starring Rianne down. Rianne sighed and settled on the couch opposite of Nina’s.

“There was this homeless man. He poured water on me from his water bottle and the water woke me up. I had this dream Nina. I didn’t want to tell you about it . . . Well, because, it almost happened. I dreamed you were at the beach in the shallow water but you wouldn’t come out of the water and play in the sand with Sam and Eric. I knew you had a fish tail, I don’t know how. . .”

Nina gasped. “Your dream was like a couple of nightmares John had. He mentioned them the night we were all at Edith and Robert’s for supper, I think. One nightmare, he dreamed Talise was carrying him out to see to kill him and I kept following. I couldn’t swim, so I was going to drown myself.” Nina explained.

“He dreamed Talise was going to stab me through the heart too. Either his heart or mine, she said in the dream. I’m glad your dream didn’t come true Rainne.”

“What did the homeless man say to you? It seems coincidental to me that he was there at the right time. And that someone knocked you out when I was being kidnapped by Talise.” Nina said thoughtfully.

“Well,” Rianne said. “My bag getting stolen and me getting knocked out wasn’t coincidental. Jasper and I were able to get ahold of footage from security cameras in the Chinese Food place. I guess Chau, the owner, has had a few robberies of her own occur.”

“Jasper went with me and we asked if we could look at his security tapes from around 10:00 pm to 2:00 am that night you were kidnapped. I wasn’t knocked out by some random thief or homeless man. It was Malcolm.” Nina gasped and Rianne continued talking.

“Malcolm didn’t even bother hiding his face. He bashed my head against the back wall of the Chinese food building and grabbed my purse. He pulled out your phone and he looked as if he were going to throw my purse back but read the label on the bag and decided to keep it. Some lady in Georgia now owns by lime Katespade.” Rianne recalled.

“Oh my . . . Malcolm knocked you out? The same Malcolm who almost ran me down in his red pickup truck?” Nina asked and Rianne nodded.

“We found the red pickup truck. Malcolm sold it to a car dealer in Adare and bought a new truck. I’m positive Malcolm was bewitched Nina. Jasper pulled him aside one day at the end of work and questioned Malcolm about Talise. Malcolm became nervous because Talise disappeared four-months ago and he of course, hasn’t heard from her.” Rianne said elaborating.

“It turns out, around the time before the fundraiser at Mergers, Malcolm met Talise at a bar and brought her home with him. They got along well and she was staying with him.” Rianne explained.

“Malcolm remembers going to the fundraiser with Talise. His last memory of her was her freaking out at his place and somehow causing objects to fly in the air and crash. This was after, Talise returned from the Farmer’s Market —  our special place Nina, I might add.” Rianne emphasized.

“What then?” Nina asked Rianne. “Did Talise bewitch Malcolm? Does he know what he did when he was bewitched? I remember my actions, so he must?” Nina said. Rianne shook her head.

“Malcolm told Jasper he has no memory after Talise going crazy until the morning Jasper and I brought you and Jordan back on John’s sailboat. Malcolm admitted to Jasper it was if he suddenly woke up from a deep sleep with no memory outside of what he was doing at work.” Rianne said.

“Malcolm said he wasn’t able to find his beloved red truck when he woke up, which is how we knew it was him who tried to run you down at the Eric’s house. Malcolm didn’t recall buying a white truck.”

“Doesn’t make sense,” Nina murmured to herself. “He has to have some memory of Talise before the night she died and after the Farmer’s Market?”

“Malcolm doesn’t have a clue. John showed him my picture and he had no idea who I was. He didn’t know he sold my bag on eBay either. He was alarmed by all the things Jasper said he did.” Rianne admitted.

“Jasper made up some story about Talise being in some sort of drug ring and keeping Malcolm drugged up when he wasn’t at work. I don’t think Malcolm believes Jasper but he is willing to take the ‘out’  Jasper provided him with.” Rianne said.

“There’s one thing I’m still wondering about,” Nina began. “The homeless guy being there. You said you could see him on the footage from the Chinese place?”

“Yeah, he arrived around 1:00 am and noticed me lying in the street. He took a closer look at me and swore. I guess he saw the goose egg on my head. Then he poured water on me and I woke up as I’ve said.” Rianne repeated.

“And this next part you told me.” Nina recalled.” The homeless man helped you up, told you you’d been mugged, and all he wanted was our stale Chinese food. He wouldn’t take the watch your Mom gave you and I’m glad he didn’t. But I wish we could find this man and thank him.” Nina elaborated.

“We could give him some money and maybe, Jasper could get him some kind of job at Mergers? I don’t know what, but you never know I’m sure this homeless man is smart and educated in something?” Nina mused. Rianne stretched out on John’s grey couch and sighed.

“I’m tired,” she stated bluntly.

“Sleep if you want, there’s a couple of guest bedrooms so take your pick.” Nina offered Rianne.

“Yeah, in a moment . . .We searched for this homeless guy. Jasper couldn’t find him. But that’s no surprise homeless people often move around. We hoped he could tell us something more about him finding me that night but this man hasn’t been to any local shelters or places that serve meals for the homeless. I’m so thankful he woke me up Nina.” Rianne said emotionally.

“I was scared when I walked into your condo and you weren’t there. I knew you wouldn’t go to your Mom’s out of the blue like the note indicated. And you hate Heather’s late night guests.” Nina giggled but she felt Rianne’s worry.

“I called Jasper and Jordan to come over right away that night. The guys agreed, even though it was dark, we needed to take the sail boat out and find you. Jasper thought John would be in the harbour area as well. He talked to John on his phone before John’s phone cut out. ..” Rianne said haltingly.

Nina sat at Rianne’s feet and comforted her. “John found me. Talise’s magic wasn’t strong enough to search the whole Sirene for me once I broke her bewitchment spell. I’m not sure how I broke it but you know the rest of the story . . .” Nina whispered.

“I’m suddenly tired as well. It is 10:45 pm . . .”

“Let’s sleep Nina. There are other Saturday nights to do stuff. I hear this is your place anyhow now?”

“John and Nina’s place,” Nina stated, “Not only Nina’s house. I sleep in our bed.”

“Are you sure you want to sleep there among all John’s things? It’s been four-months now. Do you actually believe John’s not dead?” Rianne said. She sounded worried.

Nina rubbed her eyes feeling extremely lethargic and frustrated.”There’s this quote in Alice and Wonderland,” Nina asserted, “it says: people want magical solutions for their problems yet people don’t believe in magic.”

“I believe in magic. I experienced it with John and Talise.” Nina argued.” I have to believe, if there’s a dark side to magic there’s also a good side. And if there’s a good side, then there has to be a happy ending to John’s curse.” Nina trembled as she spoke.

“This isn’t the end for John or for our relationship. I believe in magic and I believe in God. I have to believe God wouldn’t take John from me, after all we went through. I have to believe there’s a magic that is restorative, which makes right the darkness it causes.”

Rianne gazed at Nina assessing her. “I hope your right Nina. If you believe in magic, I believe it too. I hate that we have to attend John’s funeral Saturday. So, I hope you’re right. Sam and Eric miss their Uncle John and we haven’t told them anything yet . . .”

Nina winced. “Poor little guys. I just . . .right now I need sleep. We both do. And then I need to figure some things out. Find more information on curses or something. I can’t explain knowing something in my heart. I just know; John’s alive.”

Rianne nodded and yawned. She chose the first guest room she came to and Nina ambled to John’s bedroom. She grabbed a shirt he’d worn before he left for Talise’s cave.

Nina slept on John’s side of the bed wearing his t-shirt. She prayed to God to bring John back to her, before sleep took her under in wings of darkness, and dreams of sapphire blue eyes invaded her sleep.

Please Read Chapter 27 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

18. How Was Last Night For You: Defeating Talise and Breaking Nina’s Heart


Please read Chapter 17 here.

Chapter 18: Defeating Talise and Breaking Nina’s Heart.

“What do we do Dad?” John said, throwing his hands up in the air. “I feel trapped. Who knows if I can protect Nina still? I don’t think I can give her up. I can’t live alone with my curse when I know Nina and I have this possibility of a bright future together.” Jack nodded thoughtfully at what John said.

” Sea witches are an interesting kind of witch. Even the good ones harness a sort of grey magic, not light and dark as we assume. Sea witches know it takes both light and dark magic to harness the power of the wind, water, and the creatures within it. Tia as we saw, drew her power from the Sirene Lake when she cursed John initially. She also did this when she caused the storm that gave Nina her head injury. But, Tia can also draw power from items such as shells or driftwood, things that come from the sea.” Jack said to the rapt table listening.

” What I wonder about is the dagger John saw Tia with in his dream. I think that item has vital significance. If it can be used to hurt John or Nina, I’m quite sure it can be used to hurt Tia. She would need to consort with powerful dark witches to get a weapon such as the dagger. They’re has always been tales about mermaids and sea witches in the Sirene, as long as there has been an Adare. My Grandfather used to tell me some of them when I was small.” Jack mused.

” We need that dagger,” Jordan said pounding his fist on the table.

“But how?”Nina remarked. Robert leaned towards Nina.

“Well, I think an obvious first place to explore, is the true version of the little mermaid. The Brother’s Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson version. I recall a dagger in both versions of the story. The little mermaid is given a dagger by her sisters who sell their hair to the sea witch so the little mermaid can stab her beloved, the Prince, and become a mermaid again. They do this because the little mermaid only has a limited time to be with the prince, to make him fall in love with her, and the little mermaid is failing. ”

” There is also a specific story about a dagger in Adare folklore. A sea witch used a dagger to kill her husband and family, when she found out he had slept with another woman. This sea witch became the first sea witch in the Sirene lake to use dark magic, to not harness any magic of the light. They say this sea witch was so evil, she took sailors on ships mercilessly to their deaths and kept their souls in a jar so they could not go to heaven.”

“As even sea witches have limited lives, the sea witch passed the dagger down to a younger sea witch who practiced the black arts, and so on. I think this dagger is like the dagger in the little mermaid, powerful enough to kill someone you love but also the sea witch herself. The tale also says, there is a price for using dark magic. The sea witches own soul. Find Tia’s hide out, where she goes to feel safe. Find her soul and get the dagger from her. Or else she’ll be using it on you my son John, and your dear Nina.”
“That’s like looking for a needle in a haystack?” Nina said aghast. “But if the dagger is powerful it can kill Talise, she might keep it close to her…” Nina looked at John as he stared off into space, eyes glazed over.

“John” Edith said, “Are you okay?” John shook his head and his eyes returned to normal. ” I was only thinking, there was a cave Tia took me to a couple of times years ago. It was her favourite place. Inside there was this giant mirror made out of natural crystals. I think if I can find it, that is where Tia would be hiding something so important as her soul. Maybe, even the dagger itself.”


 

After, they had discussed Talise, conversation turned to lighter topics. John, Jasper, and Jordan talked about business matters with their Dad regarding Mergers. Nina, Rianne, and Carissa, told Edith more about themselves and how they met their respective Eric brother.

Edith seemed to warm up to Carissa more, when Carissa talked about wanting to be a stay at home when she settled down and have children. Carissa was an extremely pretty woman with her dark skin and almond brown eyes. Nina could see why Jordan would be attracted to such a vibrant girl.

Robert talked more about his work teaching at Adare University in English. He complained about how terrible the grammar of his students was becoming these days –both spoken and written. Edith laughed at him and talked about her job as a Pediatric nurse. It was clear she loved children.

Despite feeling under-dressed, Nina quickly forgot about her outfit and became immersed in conversation. Rianne and Nina caught up on what they had been doing with John and Jasper respectively.

” I really wanted to go out with all you guys and have a fun night out,” Nina told Rianne quietly. ” Not that this wasn’t fun and enlightening. We need to discover all we can about Talise, sea witches, and the dagger Jack talked about. However, a night out dancing is something we haven’t done in forever.” Nina said with excitement.” We could even do just a girl’s night.”

“Yeah, that would be fun.” Rianne agreed. “I get out sometimes with Jasper, but a lot of time we do stuff that includes his two sons, as it should be. You have to meet them sometime soon. They are the cutest boys. Definitely, typical little boys. But they are going to be great adults one day if their Dad is any indication.”

“Oh you like him so bad,” Nina told Rianne.

“Don’t I know it.” Rianne replied.


 

As they all left the Eric’s beautiful historic home around 1:oo am, Nina felt extremely supported by John’s family. She felt Edith and Jack’s approval both with Nina’s and John’s relationship, and dealing with Talise — a dangerous threat to Nina and John.

Nina wasn’t convinced finding Tia’s cave would help them find Tia’s soul or the dagger. She thought luring Talise out with the dagger, might work better. But Nina supposed it didn’t hurt to check Talise’s special cave first. Besides, what did a soul look like anyways? How would they know if they had Talise’s soul? Was it in a jar like the dark witch in Adare folklore did to those sailor’s souls?

On her way to John’s black car, Nina tripped in her periwinkle patent heels. One shoe went flying out into the street. Nina cursed under her breathe. John was busy talking to his Dad so he didn’t see Nina fall. Nina arose carefully, attempting to preserve some of her dignity in a short skirt.She brushed the still wet blades of grass from her outfit and she removed her other periwinkle heel and went out onto the street in her barefeet to retrieve her other shoe.

Before Nina could stand up straight, she heard John yelling. Jordan grabbed her hand and pulled her hard against him. Nina realized she had just missed being run over by a speeding huge red truck.

“Oh my God, John?” Nina yelled.

“I’ve got her,” Jordan said to John.

The windows of the red truck had been blacked out so no one on the Eric’s front drive saw who was inside the vehicle. There hadn’t been time to write down a license plate number.”Nina, Jordan” are you alright “Edith cried.

“Fine Mom, Jordan said waving at Edith and giving Carissa a quick thumbs up. Nina’s okay too, thank God,” Jordan replied with a worried look in his brown eyes.

John was at Nina’s side instantly, checking for injuries. Nina had escaped harm for the most part. She had only scraped her leg on the curb when Jordan pulled her away from the truck’s pathway. “John,” Nina asked, “was that a terrible event or was the Tia using her magic?”

John swallowed. His face was pale and he looked worse then Nina or Jordan whom had nearly been run-over. “I didn’t feel anything happening. It just happened. It had to be Tia using her dark magic. Unless, I can’t tell when horrific events occur anymore?” John sounded tired.

“John are you okay?” Nina asked, standing before John and placing her hands on his shoulders. John wouldn’t look at Nina. “I think,” he said quietly, ” I think we shouldn’t be together Nina. You keep getting hurt, or almost hurt because of me. I love you, I can’t risk you being killed because of me.”

” I love you too,” Nina said hugging John and kissing his cheek. But she didn’t feel him kissing or hugging her back. “It’s okay John, I’m fine. We’ll get through it John.”

John shook his head. “No Nina, I mean it. We’re over. Even if I suffer from the curse the rest of my life. I can’t stand the thought of you dead or hating me. Tia hates me, look what it did to her.”

“I’m not Tia,  John. I’m not going to start hating you because we have to work extra-hard to be content in life. I choose you and whatever we need to get through to be together.” Nina exclaimed fervently to John.

“No,” said John glum and emotionless. He turned to look at his parents and brothers who were speechless and then looked back at Nina.”We’re done Nina.I’m sorry. I should have let you go long before this. Before the farmer’s market.”

“John?” Nina said. Her voice sounded wobbly and and she was attempting not to cry. She put her hand on John’s arm to pull him back but John avoided Nina’s touch.

“Your letting Talise win John,” Jasper told his younger brother. John said nothing. He got into his Mercedes, and drove away leaving everyone standing in the Eric’s front drive.

Tears threatened Nina’s eyes and she felt numb. Rianne immediately hugged Nina and brushed the tears from the edges of Nina’s eyes with her thumb. John’s parents apologized to Nina profusely for their son’s reaction and said they would try to talk to him. Edith told Nina, she liked Nina and hoped that her and John would reconcile. Jack looked unsure about the situation.

“Maybe, it’s a blessing in disguise” Robert said.”Maybe, John needs to break the curse on his own and face off against Tia. Then, he can see Nina again, when it’s safe.”

“He needs me Jack,” Nina cried. ” I’m part of this whole crazy equation of a curse and events.” Jack looked at her with pity.

Jasper drove Nina home and Riane stayed with her that night. They said nothing as they got into Nina’s apartment. “I’m going to bed, Rianne.” Nina said hoarsely.

“It’s fine Nina. Go ahead do what you need to do. I’ll be here. I’m in the guest room if you need anything.”

“Okay, Thanks.” Nina replied.

Nina didn’t even bother taking her makeup off. She climbed into bed and tossed and turned in an exhausting sleep. She dreamed of sea witches and daggers. Nina was trying to get the dagger from Talise in her dreams, but Talise always ended up killing Nina. Talise would stab Nina in her in the heart with the dagger, while she laughed. John watched blankly, doing nothing to stop Talise. It was as if John wasn’t, even John. No matter how much Nina called for him to aid her, John did nothing. Repeatedly, Nina dreamed she was dying.

Please Read Chapter 19 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

17. How Was Last Night For You: Family Dinner and Taking Down Talise


Please read Chapter 16 here.

Chapter 17: Family Dinner and Taking Down Talise

“John” Nina said. They were holding hands while he drove the Mercedes.

“Yeah beautiful?”

Nina bit her lip, “I thought we were going to The Hourglass for dinner with Rianne and your brothers. We’re not driving anywhere near the harbour. Otherwise, we would have been at the restaurant already. Where are we going?” John looked and Nina and she couldn’t tell what he was thinking about but he was looking at her thoughtfully.

“I like your hair like that,” John complimented Nina. “Oh, um, thanks hon. But you haven’t told me where we’re headed. We’re out in suburbs somewhere, I don’t recall the neighbourhoods we’ve been driving through.” John couldn’t help but smile.

“Well, you wanted to go out for dinner and to look for a way to stop Talise from hurting us. I thought the best place we could go for dinner was actually to my parents house.”

“Your parents?!” Nina squeaked. “Already?” John chuckled.

“Mom and Dad are great Nina and they’re interested in meeting both you and Rianne. It’s been over three months for us so I don’t think it’s too soon for you to meet them considering how I feel about you. Plus, you wanted to have us altogether to attempt to find someway to defeat Tia. My Dad is a Professor in English. He specializes in fairytales and folklore at Adare University. I thought with his background, he would be an incredible help to provide us with some information that could help us defeat Tia.”

“Oh I see,” Nina said. ” I still wish you’d told me before now thoug. I don’t appreciate you springing something like this on me. However, it makes sense that your Dad probably has a bunch of books on fairytales and knows the best places to look first for information on sea witches. Perhaps, there are stories about them from back in Adare’s history.”

“Exactly,” said John, “I also have a worrisome feeling that nothing terrible has happened around me in over three months Nina. The curse isn’t broken, it’s merely on hold. I think if something bad were to happen, it would be less likely to happen at my parents. I have always found their home to be a bit of a safety zone where the curse is concerned.” Nina nodded at John.

“Sounds fair, John. I still wish you’d told me we were going to your parents and not to a club after dinner. I would have worn something, um more appropriate.” John grinned.

“Your outfit is gorgeous, Nina. You always look good, even in my sweat pants with no makeup.” Nina blushed at the compliment.

“If you say so,” she said rubbing John’s stubbly cheek with the back of her hand. Nina looked dubiously down at her outfit. She had chosen a low cut black peplum top with a sweetheart neckline and tight dark jean skirt with a little flounce. Her legs were smooth and bare and accented by a pair of periwinkle blue patented leather four -inch heels. It was smart thinking on her part, bringing a black cardigan to wear over the peplum top, but the cardigan regretfully, didn’t button up and Nina felt exposed.

John parked his Mercedes in front of a large house with burgundy siding and a white wrap around porch. It had been raining again, as it did in Winter and pretty much any season in Adare. The ground was wet and Nina’s high heels aerated the lawn as she walked, sinking into the grass at many points. A paved driveway led up to the entrance of John’s parent’s stunning house. Unlike John’s modern house on the beach, his parent’s house was elegant and old surrounded by thick foliage around the yard. Their home was a throwback to Adare’s history and Victorian architecture.

John didn’t bother knocking on the front door, he turned the doorknob and walked inside. A sizable entrance area held a bench, closet, and coat hooks, in a warm interior.

“I grew up here,” John said smiling wistfully at Nina. “It feels like home, as soon as I walk in the front door.”

“I think it would be a lovely house to grow up in –judging from the outside. I enjoy the Victorian architecture. I can see your Mom and Dad put a great deal of work into preserving this house. What are your parent’s names again, John. My mind is a bit fuzzy?”Nina said. She was  admiring the walls half covered by wooden panelling and the dark wood floors, refinished until they gleamed. The walls were painted in beiges and sand coloures. The furniture was antique but not the veneered furniture that was available to much of the population of the latter 1800’s because it was made in factories. Nina observed the Eric’s wood furniture was truly wood, handmade, and beautifully restored.

Nina felt John watching her as she observed the entrance and hallway in the house he grew up in. John stepped close to Nina brushing her hand, reminding her of the strong connection they had together. John observed Nina’s wide-eyed stare as she looked at the beautiful details of the historic home and than back into John’s bright eyes.

John cleared his throat,”my Mom’s name is Edith and my Dad’s name is Jack. I think I told you about them before when I talked about growing up in Adare with Jasper and Jordan. Mom’s a nurse these days.”Nina nodded and took John’s hand, nervous to meet the family John spoke of fondly.

“John is that you?” A woman with a dark brunette bob and blond highlights stuck her head into the entrance. Nina could see the resemblance she had to John and all his brothers. John had his mother’s bright sapphire eyes and easy smile.

“Yeah Mom it’s John and I brought my girlfriend, Nina with me. I kind of sprung it on her actually.” Edith walked into the entryway and shook her head at John.

“Jonathan, you told her in your fancy sports car on the way over didn’t you? You didn’t mention the dinner to her a few days ago like I told you to, did you?” John sighed, appearing uncomfortable under his Mom’s disapproving gaze.

“No Mom, I forgot.But Nina is happy to come over here and meet you guys. I thought it would be a fantastic idea to have everyone together. Also, I wanted to talk to Dad about Tia and sea witches. Nina thought it was a good idea too.” John commented.

Nina looked at Edith who was giving her a once over. Again, Nina felt under-dressed in her bar outfit. Nina walked forward in her blue heels, stumbled over some other shoes on the floor and eventually held her hand out to Edith on steady feet. Edith smiled at Nina warmly and Nina instantly felt more comfortable.

“Nina,” Edith said, “I’m so happy to meet you. I have heard all about you from John and his brothers. They’re huge fans of you, you know. You have stuck around a long time. Longer than any  other girl John has been with, since the unfortunate event with Tia. John tells me he has been completely honest with you about Tia. I have to hand it to you, you are a loyal girl and handling the situation well. Especially considering you’ve been recovering from a concussion. Are you feeling okay now, dear?”

Nina held her hands together and smiled her best ‘like me’ smile at Edith, ” I have been doing great Mrs. Eric…”

“Call me Edith, everyone does.”

“Oh sorry,” Nina said. “I wanted to tell what a wonderful job your son has done taking care of me when I was injured. It’s been great getting to know him better and I hope we can come up with someway to break John’s curse and defeat Tia.”

“Jordan said Tia is out for blood,” Edith remarked. “She wants John’s heart or yours, Nina.” Edith waved a wooden spoon from the kitchen in aggravation, “that cold-hearted sea Bitch, she’s caused my son so much misery Nina. I hope you can help him break his curse. You’re the best chance he has ever had. He loves you.” John went still when his Mom said John loved Nina. Nina was absolutely positive John was in love with her and she felt the same way about him. But right now wasn’t the time for either of them to profess their love.

Edith hugged Nina hard before hugging John and patting his butt, as if John were a  boy. John made a face at his Mom and she smiled:

“Go find your brothers and father, John. They are in the library. Send Rianne back to have some wine with Nina and I. I could use some help setting the table and finishing up dinner in the kitchen.”

John went off to his Dad’s library, promising to give Nina a tour of his parent’s home later. Nina started chopping the ends off of baby carrots and cracking off the ends of the asparagus for a vegetable dish, made with butter and thyme.

Rianne hugged Nina when she came down to the kitchen. It had been a week or so since she’d seen Rianne.

“Nina you look so good! It’s been such a long time since we’ve had a chance to talk. You know, only you and I. This whole situation is out of this world. Are you okay? Has Tia tried anything again or has anyone else been affected by John’s curse?”

“Things have been so great Rianne. I see John all the time and life has been normal. The curse hasn’t been affecting John oddly enough. He always feels when something horrible is about to happen, but he hasn’t felt anything in over three months. We haven’t heard anything from Tai, thank God.”

Nina gabbed to Rianne who was working on whipping the mash potatoes, using her left hand as her right arm still ached. Edith came back from the wine cellar in the basement with a couple of bottles of red wine and began to pour them each a glass of Zinfandel.

Edith made a toast: to what’s good and right in this world. May the good times always overcome the darkness and the people who thrive in it.” The ladies clinked their wine glasses and Nina set the table, as Edith made finishing touches on her dinner talking to Nina and Rianne and causing them to laugh outloud.

When it came time to eat, Edith called her sons and her husband to the dining room. Carissa, Jordan’s girlfriend from the fundraiser at Mergers,  was present but Edith hadn’t called her to have wine and them with supper. Nina had the distinct feeling Edith disliked Carissa. Jasper received an elbow to the ribs from Rianne, however, when he asked Jordan:

” Oh so you’re still with Carissa? It’s been a long time. This guy usually last a month tops, Carissa.” Carissa glared at Jasper and Jordan shrugged. Carissa stomped on Jordan’s foot and he smiled and pulled her close to him by her small waist.

“Carissa’s a good friend,” Jordan said. Carissa looked like she might kill Jordan until Edith told everyone to calm down. Edith showed everyone where to sit and they all sat down and said grace holding hands.

Delicious food was passed around such as whipped mashed potatoes and turkey roast. They’re were a variety of cooked vegetables and a salad, plus, –perogies, cabbage rolls, and nalesniki. John’s Mom was half-Ukrainian, Nina learned. Everyone was silent while they enjoyed Edith’s delicious feast. As the woman began to finish their meals, having eaten less food than the men, Carissa who was not to be put down by Edith or Jasper, spoke:

“So, Nina and John. Jordan has filled me in on your problem with Talise. I saw her talking to Nina the night of the fundraiser. Do you really believe she’s a sea witch and that she cursed you John? Is she literally out to get Nina’s heart?”John looked stunned that Carissa knew so much and he glared at Jordan who shrugged.

“I’ve known Carissa as long as you’ve known Nina and Jasper has known Rianne, why shouldn’t she know?”

“Because” John said, ” you shouldn’t get her involved in this. It’s another person Tia could potentially hurt or I could if the curse returns.” Jordan swore under his breathe and John looked like he was going to punch him. Nina held John back.

“It’s fine guys. Maybe, Carissa will be a big help. The more support we have the better and if Carissa is involved with Jordan, she should know what’s going on because it’s pretty out there.” Nina said calmly and John shot her an annoyed look.

” I guess….” John said and Jordan confirmed Carissa’s questions and filled her in about Talise. Carissa laughed at first. She couldn’t quite believe what Jordan told her until she saw the scar beneath Nina’s hair still red and angry. Rianne showed Carissa her broken arm, scarred where the bone had broken through her skin. Carissa still wasn’t convinced by everything they all told her, but she agreed to keep what was said a secret to protect everyone involved.

——

“So Dad,” John said, “Part of the reason we organized dinner at home tonight was to get your opinion. Tia is a genuine sea witch and you know a lot about the folklore around Adare and about fairytales in general. We thought you might have some insight into our problem.”

Jack scratched his head and removed his glasses from his face. He was a handsome man for his age, with greying dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. Nina could see where John got some of his looks but thought he looked more like his Mom. Jasper resembled his father more and Jordan shared features from both his parents.

Jack looked at John and then curiously at Nina. “May I ask you young lady, why you have chosen to stay with my son. To date him and be with him after such an injury he tells me Tia “the sea witch,” caused. You could have been killed. Not to mention, the curse and John’s strange nightmare? I think these are all indicative signs you should stay away from him.”

“Oh….” Nina mumbled hurt, ” Why would I leave him. I love him. I’m in love with him.” Nina reached over and squeezed John’s hand. John appeared slightly stunned at Nina’s admission.

“I’m going to break this curse for John. I don’t know if you believe in love at first sight. But when I met John at the Martini bar under my condo building, I felt something I never felt before. Even though that first night, was scary and dangerous, it was worth it to be with John and meet him.” Edith smiled at Nina, the smile of a woman happy and pleased with her son’s choice in love. She took Nina’s hand (the one that wasn’t holding John’s hand) and squeezed it supportively.

” You’re too good to believe, Nina, that’s what Robert is saying,” Edith chimed in. “Curses are notoriously difficult to break, especially, by a sea witch who is harnessing black magic. Tia hates you dear, you’re in her way. You need to be strong in your love and in yourself, if you want to help John defeat Tia.” Jack nodded at his wife and a subtle smile passed his lips as if he was thankful for Edith’s insight.

“Indeed, Nina you are one part of the puzzle. But John needs to sacrifice himself for you. That’s what Tia said when she cursed him. That part of the curse worries our family. Can you two be together and John still remain alive? Not to mention, the dream John keeps having of Talise and her dagger. It has me extremely worried. Tia wants to destroy you and claim John. She’ll be after you at all costs.”

Please Read Chapter 18 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved